Trademarks and Brands

"Don't Say Velcro" Music Video Warns Against Brand Name Dilution

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 3 October, 2017

Wow — what an entertaining way to get out a serious message about the generalization of trademarked brand names from a group of attorneys at Velcro, the self-fastener company!

Starting out as a serious-looking "message from the lawyers at The Velcro Company," the group sings: ". . . everywhere you go you see this scratchy, hairy fastener and you say, 'Hey, that's Velcro!'" The group then goes on to warn that if all self-fasteners are referred to as Velcro, "we're gonna lose that circled 'R.'" The music video even includes other (intentionally censored) examples of brands that are used generically to describe a product.

Velcro CEO Fraser Cameron told USA Today: "We want people to know there's a real company behind the brand folks know and love and that there's a difference between Velcro brand products and others in the marketplace."

Take 2 minutes to watch this . . . it'll stick with you!

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Topics: branding, trademark

Government Branding Is More Innovative Than You Might Expect

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 22 September, 2017

Many people associate government branding with a slogan or a tagline, usually in support of tourism initiatives (e.g., Incredinburgh, I ♥︎ NY, I Feel Slovenia), but there’s another layer of government branding that brings together design elements to produce a city, town, or country’s visual identity system used in signage, flags, maps, logos, etc.

Take, for example, Atlanta, Georgia. The southeastern US city recently rebranded its Department of Planning and Community Development with a new name, a new look, and some very distinctive public notice signage. As Fast Company writes, “Not all cities have a budget for design, but Atlanta’s department of urban planning is showing why they should.”

The department is now officially called the Department of City Planning and not only is the new name clear and simple, but the entire rebranding project aligned around the phrase: “To Be Clear Is To Be Kind.” In the words of creative director Blake Howard, quoted in Fast Company: “If we want to be kind to the public we serve, we need to be clear.”

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Topics: branding

Amazon’s “Secret” Brands

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 10 August, 2017

If you’re an Amazon shopper, you may have noticed that the company sells its own line of Amazon-branded products under the brand name AmazonBasics. What you might not realize, according to an article in Quartz, is that Amazon is selling a wide range of products under brand names the company created and trademarked with the USPTO.

Covering product categories like cosmetics (sold under the Beauty Bar brand), baby products (branded Mama Bear), and even fresh food (Happy Belly), Quartz cites 19 Amazon brands. The article notes that only “one of the brands makes clear that it’s an Amazon product: Pinzon, a bedsheets and towel brand.” Some of the brands state they are exclusive to Amazon Prime members.

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Topics: branding

Dunkin’ Donuts Considering Name Change

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 7 August, 2017

Can you imagine Dunkin’ Donuts without the “Donuts”?! Luckily, that possible change would be in name only.

Yes, donut chain Dunkin’ Donuts is testing the shortened “Dunkin’” name at a few U.S. locations in a move to widen its appeal beyond donuts to coffee, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. CNBC reports that a company statement said: "While we remain the number one retailer of donuts in the country, as part of our efforts to reinforce that Dunkin' Donuts is a beverage-led brand and coffee leader, we will be testing signage in a few locations that refer to the brand simply as 'Dunkin'." The company also has plans to start redesigning its stores.

The company has been referring to itself as Dunkin’ in advertising “for more than a decade, ever since we introduced our ‘America Runs on Dunkin’ campaign,” according to a company statement. A final decision about whether to change the name is expected to be made in late 2018.

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Topics: branding, names

Reviving Old Brands: ZIMA Brand is Back!

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 21 July, 2017

Get out your Hammer pants and inflatable sneakers because that popular drink brand from the 1990s is back. ZIMA the clear, malt-based alcoholic beverage brand has returned!

The MillerCoors-produced “maltaholic” drink reached the height of popularity in the 1990s with more than 1 million barrels sold in 1994. But then sales began to tumble, slipping to 403,000 barrels in 1996, according to Slate, before the citrusy drink was discontinued in the United States in 2008.

So what’s behind the ZIMA brand comeback? The ZIMA website explains: “We’re here because you are, and you deserve to experience this thing, even if it’s just for one incredible zummer.” The company’s marketing manager at MillerCoorsPlus told Business Insider that "tons of people" have asked for Zima to return to the market.

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Topics: brands, branding


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